President Radev: Freedom of Speech in Bulgaria is in Crisis
The Council for Electronic Media will hear BNR Director General Svetoslav Kostov and the Radio Board of Directors regarding the suspension of the radio signal for 5 hours on Friday. The same day, Prosecutor General Sotir Tsatsarov ordered a check for stopping the Horizont signal. After the scandal over the downloading and subsequent resumption of broadcasting and the removal from the line of BNR journalist Silvia Velikova, acting Program Director Nikolay Krastev resigned.
President Rumen Radev today demanded that the BNR leadership to explain the real motives for the unprecedented 5-hour stop of the radio. He added that freedom of expression in Bulgaria is in crisis.
Rumen Radev - President of the Republic of Bulgaria: Freedom of speech is at the heart of democracy, it is of fundamental value, and obviously in Bulgaria it is in crisis. The BNR did not stop even during the war. And this case reaffirms the question of who and how governs the public media. Obviously, the state is also governed by someone's phone, not through institutions, as it is normal in the other European countries. And I think it's about time to put an end to it. Yet, in my opinion, there is a ray of hope. And this is in the behavior and reaction of the BNR journalists, who clearly showed solidarity and supported by their colleagues from other media gave an example of how to defend dignity, how to defend freedom of speech and professional standards.
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